Winter Running

How To Dress For Running In Cold Weather

So, the cold weather is here, what do you do? Stop running instead and stay inside watching movies or checking your FB account? I like to go out and run, what do you think about this? Of course, I also do cross-country skiing and fun activities with kids.

You have some options to consider: take a break during winter months or join a local gym and start running on the treadmill or just invest in winter clothes and go run outside. I do hope you choose the last option but you will ask how to dress for running on cold weather? I’m glad you did it, and in today ’s article, I will detail all the necessary outfits.

Dress In Layers

As I mentioned in my article ‘winter running shoes,’ you should dress in layers. But let’s start from top to toes.

Cover your head! Just cover it because through the head you lose most of the heat, you sweat, and you could get a cold, you don’t want this, right? I have a hat made of fleece which has breathable material, and I’m not getting hot at my head. I recommend the following models:

Fleece Hat

Protect your neck with a buff or a scarf in the case is very cold outside. A good model and cheap I use:

Buff for running in winter

Now the body trunk, the important part of your body. As I said, dress in layers.

  • First layer a t-shirt with long sleeves or short, as you prefer, made of synthetic material which does not keep the sweat but eliminated to outside. It’s the same one which you use in summer when you run. Do not wear a cotton t-shirt because it keeps the sweat and it’s getting wet, and you will feel cold on your back. For women, I recommend a sports bra which keeps you dry, so choose a model which absorbs the sweat, like this one

Women t-shirt Winter running t-shirt

  • The third layer you can use when it’s humid outside, and this is a wind and waterproof jacket. These are the ones I use:

Legs – I use a pair of leggings for running with some kinda fleece on the interior. If it’s very cold, I add a second pair of leggings which are windproof. If you know yourself with a bit of sensibility on cold, protect your knees. I use the following products:

Winter Running leggings

Socks – same rule: chose a model which keeps your feet dry and absorbs the sweat. I recommend long socks, up to knees to protect the calves from cold and keep them warm.

Winter running socks

Winter running shoes – I detailed about the winter running shoes, and I have the LaSportiva model

Hands – Use gloves made of fleece will keep you warm.

Other Things To Consider

It’s not a must, only when is not a sunny day, but for days with sun, I recommend a pair of sunglasses, a specific model for outdoor activities. The sun in combination with the snow can harm your eyes.

Special advice for girls (guys, if you want, feel free to use the information) – hydrated your skin, it’s essential, to avoid the skin dehydration. Use a hydration cream with sun protection. Yes, you heard me well. Use a ‘fat’ cream to apply on cheeks and nose, these two areas are very exposed when running.

When you go outside dress as I described, you might feel cold, but as soon as you start running, you will get warm. If you dress with to many clothes, you will feel OK when you go outside, but when you start running, you will begin to sweating abundantly, and you will not have enough energy for the run.

To feel comfortable when going outside, start the warm-up inside: use the jumping rope, run standing in the same place, if you have a treadmill use it. In this way, you put the blood in motion.

After running, dry your equipment or wash it, you decide. Don’t place your shoes on the laundry dryer or a radiator. The materials of the shoes, including the outer sole as well, will get soft and they will break easily. Also, the material will become rigid, and on the next run you could end up with wounds. One tip learned from my grandmother is to place big pieces of newspaper inside the shoes. The newspaper will absorb the humidity, and the shoes will get dry quickly.

How To Get Motivation?

You learn how to dress for running, you learn how to choose the running shoes and tips for running, but one thing is missing: motivation. So, how do you motivate to run when outside is cold and eventually snow?

I understand that during the cold days it’s hard to find the motivation to run outside, maybe you more inclined to watch a movie, stay inside a read a book, meet some friends or go out only for shopping or a visit to a mall. The days are shorter, it’s cold, you don’t’ want to leave the warmth of your home, am I right?

Let me help you. First, make a plan, start with a fixed schedule for running, and you should follow it. Give yourself punishments and have a serious discussion if you skip it. OK, if you are ill, it’s understandable. During the running encourage yourself by saying things like ‘one more km, and I’m done, I can do it,’ ‘just a bit more, keep going, a warm cup of chocolate is waiting for me ’ or ‘a good book is waiting for me’ things like that.


The best part of running in winter is that you enjoy the fresh air, calm, silence and snow. Do you agree? Personally, I appreciate all these things.

Still, not motivated? What about setting some goals like to lose some weight? Sound good, isn’t it? The secret is that you are the motivator.

Still Not Convinced?

If you are not motivated enough, I give some more ideas.

– Invite someone and run together. Establish a meeting point and start running

– Find a local running group, maybe you will feel motivated, and it’s also the group spirit

– Find a spring competition and develop a routine for training for the competition

Coming Outside For A Run?

I hope that now you have all the necessary information to start running in the winter. We know how to choose the winter running shoes, we know the important aspects to consider when running like making you visible, stay hydrated, just to mention a few, and also you learn how to dress in layers. That’s all you need to know. No excuse to staying inside. Will I see you outside for a run?

Till next time, stay healthy!

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About the Author


I have always been interested in living a healthy life.

I believe in the power of nature, the power of the plants which were given to us. Hiking, running, yoga, Pilates and meditation are the tools which keep me in shape and provide a state of well-being.

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  1. Glad I found this article. It’s winter time and we’ve had some really cold weather lately, but I need to run. The hardest part is breathing through my nose, since I’m sniveling a lot while running, which makes it harder to breathe. Is there a face mask or something of that nature that you could recommend?

    1. I’m glad you find it useful, Dave. In the beginning, I also had issues with breathing, but I solved the problem by covering my mouth. Currently, I use a buff, I find it very convenient as it has many functionalities. 

      Stay healthy!

  2. Hello and thank you for this amazing article. I had an amazing time reading it. I love workout but was always avoiding running in the winter times because it was just too cold and too diffucult. In the winter times, I am usually at the gym running on a threadmill.

    However, after reading your article I am considering running in the cold weather. I will definitely get some winter socks and two layers of jogging sweater. 

    Thank you so much for this article.


    1. Hello Strahinja, you’re welcome, and I’m glad you find it useful. There are days when I also run inside on a treadmill. The important thing is to do any kind of workout and not just waiting the spring in the front of the TV 🙂

      Two layers it’s enough, just use my tips, and I wish you happy running.

      Stay healthy!

  3. ohh yeah there is no excuse when is about exercising. I consider that exercise must be a habit like brushing your teeth and taking a bath (I hope everyone has those two habits hahaha). I really  enjoy reading  your article, but I have an important question. 

    Isn’t running in a cold weather bad for our health?

    1. Hahaha, a nice comparison you made. Nope, it does not harm to your health, in contrary, it will build your immunity, and you will not get any cold. But, be careful when how you dress. If you dress in too many layers or too many clothes, you can end up with a cold. When running, you start warming.

      Stay healthy!

  4. Even though I am a member at a local gym, since summer and into this autumn, I have enjoyed exercising outside. In fact I am  thinking of cancelling my gym membership as except when it is raining, I love exercising outside. 

    But as I am beginning to exercise outside I realise that I need some better clothing to exercise in. In particular I definately need some waterproof trainers but not sure that the four you suggest are what I am looking for. I am not exercising in snow (in he main) but on the sidewalk or out in country paths. I need shoes that are waterproof in the main and obviously non-slip especially when on fallen leaves or muddy paths? Any suggestions?

    1. In my previous article ‘Winter Running Shoes’ I detailed some models. Feel free to have a look and decide which model suits you best.

      Exercising outside requires a bit of investment in regards to clothing and shoes if you run in cold weather. But it’s a good investment in the long run and also for your health.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Stay healthy!

  5. OMG Dany I LOVED THIS POST!!!! Thank you! You seriously cover everything standing in the way of me and winter running! I really appreciate the top to toe format, as it runs like a checklist (maybe you could make a checklist image or download?). And I love the items you picked out, shows great taste in aesthetics, quality and utility. Plus, I can tell you really know what you’re talking about here and love the little added nuggets like the great tip about shoes–dryer versus newspaper. Priceless. I have pinned and tweeted this post and I think anyone who is serious about running needs to share this, too!

    1. Thank you, Desa, I’m glad you find it useful. Thank you for the tip, it’s a good suggestion, and definitely, I will create a checklist. 

      I recommend and share from my experience, and I hope others will benefit using the information. Hahaha, the newspaper is an old trick from my grandmother. 

      Thank you for your comment.

      Stay healthy!

  6. I just took up jogging last month and I thought the weather was perfect for running. I had hoped that Winter would provide a long period in which I could build up my stamina and develop a 30-40 minute jog before it gets too hot.

    One night it was 38 degrees. I went for my jog and there was almost a burning sensation in my throat from breathing in all that cold air. It was 3 days before that “Burn” stopped making me cough.

    I really love the buff that you’ve placed in this article! I can use it as a mask or belaclava to protect me from that in the future.

    It certainly doesn’t get cold enough where I live to worry about many of the things on this list, but that buff and some good, long socks with a nice pair of running shoes will get it done.

    This article came just in time for me!

    Do you actually run for exercise in the snow? That seems like it would be very hard on the joints!

    1. Oh my, 38 degrees. I never run outside when is very hot, I just don’t have energy. When it’s hot, I run inside on a treadmill. 

      The buff it’s a must. It helps a lot if you find it hard to breathe. I also like it because it has many functionalities. 

      Yes, I run only to keep in shape, and I really like the cold air, fresh, silence and nature 🙂 It’s not hard or harms for joints, at least not for me.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Stay healthy!

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